The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore

I just finished reading this book, and I will never look at Wonder Woman in the same way again. I was proud to learn that her character was basically born out of the Suffragist movement, and that it was the creator’s attempt to improve the rights of women. (Although I’d be hard-pressed to know how her skimpy outfit did that.) At least she has that going for her.

It was also interesting to learn that her creator, William Moulton Marston, was also the inventor of the first version of the polygraph. That puts a whole new spin on Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth. In fact, his whole life wends its way through her story line in many ways.

For a start, in direct contradiction to the whole women’s rights thing, he seems to have been heavily into dominance and submission, and if you look at Wonder Woman’s early years, you’ll notice that she gets tied up in pretty much every single issue. He had a great deal to say about how the ropes and chains were drawn by the artist.

Also, one of the mothers of all his children (you’ll have to read the book to know how to correctly parse that phrase) wore wide bracelets on her wrists throughout their relationship, just like Wonder Woman.

Suffice it to say there’s a lot more to this cartoon character than meets the eye. Check it out. You’ll be amazed.

Wonder Woman

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